Abba Kyari, the suspended deputy commissioner of police (DCP), has been arrested by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the police spokesperson, announced his arrest in a statement issued on Monday.
Adejobi said Usman Baba, the inspector-general of police, ordered Kyari’s arrest alongside four other police officers over their alleged involvement in a case of illicit drug trafficking.
“The arrest of the officers was sequel to pieces of information received from the leadership of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on 10th February 2022,” the statement reads.
“In line with standard administrative procedure of the Force, the Inspector General of Police ordered a high-level, discreet, and in-house investigation into the allegations. The interim investigations report revealed that two (2) international drug couriers identified as Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus, both males, were arrested at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu on the 19th of January, 2022 upon their arrival from Addis Ababa aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight ET917. The arrest led to the recovery of substantial quantity of powdery substance suspected to be cocaine from the two narcotic couriers. The operation which was intelligence-driven, was undertaken by a Unit of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
“Although the case and the two suspects were subsequently transferred to the NDLEA on the 25th January, 2022, the findings of the in-house investigation ordered by the Inspector General of Police established reasonable grounds for strong suspicion that the IRT officers involved in the operation could have been involved in some underhand and unprofessional dealings as well as official corruption which compromised ethical standards in their dealings with the suspects and exhibits recovered.
“Beyond this, the Police investigation also established that the international narcotics cartel involved in this case have strong ties with some officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu who are on their pay roll. The two arrested drug couriers confirmed that the modus is for the transnational drug barons to conspire with the NDLEA officers on duty and send them their pre-boarding photographs for identification, seamless clearance, and unhindered passage out of the airport with the narcotics being trafficked.
“The Police investigations report also indicted DCP Abba Kyari, who had been on suspension for his alleged involvement in a different fraud case being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), for complicity in the allegation of official corruption, tampering with narcotics exhibit and sundry unprofessional conducts that negate the standard administrative and investigative protocols of the Force as well as extant criminal laws. It is to be emphasised that DCP Abba Kyari’s involvement in these allegation occurred while his suspension from service was subsisting.
“On the strength of the findings of the in-house Police Investigation Panel, the Inspector-General of Police has ordered the immediate arrest and transfer of all the indicted police officers to the NDLEA authorities for conclusive investigation, while appropriate disciplinary actions are also being initiated against them by the Force leadership. The concerned officers include DCP Abba Kyari, ACP Sunday Ubuah, ASP Bawa James, ASP John Umoru (at large), Inspr. Simon Agrigba and John Nuhu. They have all been, accordingly, handed over today 14th February, 2022 to the NDLEA authorities.”
Kyari’s arrest comes after the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) declared him wanted over alleged links with an international drug cartel.